1 Corinthians 6:20 NKJV
One pastor writes: “I stood on every healing Scripture in the Bible. Finally I got so sick that I had to be rushed to the hospital. There they discovered I had five arteries completely blocked and scheduled me for a bypass surgery. When I came through it, I started questioning, ‘How could this have happened to me? I’m a pastor. I believe that God heals. I’ve prayed for others and watched Him heal them.’ Then I remembered! I’d been warned repeatedly that my cholesterol and sugar levels were too high. I needed to change my diet, but I wouldn’t listen. I was addicted to fried foods and fatty foods. They were so tasty I couldn’t give them up.” Keep reading – your life could depend on it! Jesus said the children of this world are wiser than the children of light (See Luke 16:8). The media and medical establishment are warning us daily to watch what we eat, yet often the church is silent. Tobacco, alcohol, and drugs can kill you, but so can eating the wrong food! Paul writes: “Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NKJV). You have an assignment from God, and a responsibility to stay healthy and fulfill it. Your body is the temple in which He dwells, and the instrument He uses. So seek to “glorify God in your body” each day.
Soul food: 1 Cor 12-14; Luke 24:25-35; Ps 68:19-35; Prov 25:17-20
Colossians 3:10 NLT
Lasting change happens gradually on the inside, often before there’s any outward evidence of it. Pastor Jim Penner says: “A friend of mine recently went through hip-replacement surgery…the joint had worn to the point where he walked with a limp and had to use a crutch. Thanks to the skill of a modern-day surgeon he was quickly up and around again. Yet for months after the surgery his limp remained…I ran into him this morning and the limp was gone. Where did it go? It had been there the day before. Had it vanished in the night? ‘You’re walking great,’ I said. ‘What happened?’ His response was priceless. ‘My physical therapist told me I had to retrain my brain.’ His brain had been trained to expect pain so he limped in anticipation. Even when he didn’t feel the pain his brain said, ‘Hang on. It’s coming!’ The Bible says in Christ you become ‘a new creature: old things are passed away…all things are become new’ (2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV). But you have to change your thinking by believing, accepting, and acting on it. Christ has already done the restoration ‘surgery.’ Just like my friend was given a new hip, God has given you a new life. The old one is gone along with all the bad things you’ve done, thought, or said. You’re a brand-new creation. But you have to retrain your brain to accept God’s forgiveness and the restorative work Jesus has done in your life.” So: Retrain your brain.
Soul food: Zech 1-4; Luke 22:63-71; Ps 3; Prov 24:23-25
Colossians 3:10 NLT
When we become a Christian, things in our lives change. We change some of our behaviour; we stop doing certain things and start doing others. We change the way we might speak, and most importantly, we begin to change the way we think. Why is this the most important? If we don’t change our thinking, our actions and words will soon return to how they were before. When we retrain our brain, our actions and words will follow suit. Changing how we think doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a process. The Bible says: ‘Be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him.’ The more we learn about Jesus, the more we transform and change to be like Him. As we learn what God thinks about us, we begin to change our thoughts to think about ourselves like that too. As we learn what Jesus would do in a situation, we begin to think like Him too. Romans 12:2 says: ‘Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will’ (NIV). So how do we renew our mind? We need to immerse ourselves in God’s Word so that we know how He thinks about things. The Bible even tells us some things we should be focusing our thinking on: ‘Think about the things that are good and worthy of praise. Think about the things that are true and honorable and right and pure and beautiful and respected’ (Philippians 4:8-9 NCV). And we can always ask Him to help bring our thoughts into line with His.
Zech 1-4; Luke 22:63-71; Ps 3; Prov 24:23-25
2 Corinthians 4:18 TM
We enjoy the blessings of change, but not the process of change. We’re creatures of habit. We form our habits, and our habits form us. Then we start to see things exclusively from our own perspective. And when that happens – we stagnate. The truth is, without change there is no growth. When you have the right attitude every experience – positive and negative – becomes an opportunity for progress. Think about it: Trees need more than sunshine to produce fruit. Rainy seasons are productive seasons too, and they always precede the harvest. You don’t have to like rain, you just have to understand its purpose and benefits. The Bible says that every day “the Lord…makes us more and more like him…we are changed into his glorious image” (2 Corinthians 3:18 NLT). But to become like Jesus you must follow wherever He leads. That means following Him through the wilderness of temptation, the pain of rejection, the forfeiting your reputation, the surrendering your will, and being ready to go to the place of crucifixion where you die to all forms of self-centred living. Following Jesus may mean being in a different location tomorrow than you are today. Once you grasp this principle, you’ll stop fearing and resisting the changes taking place in your life and start seeing God at work in them. Paul says: “Even though on the outside it…looks like things are falling apart…on the inside…God is making new life…The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18 TM).
Soul food: Neh 11-13; Luke 22:14-23; Ps 78:56-64; Prov 24:6-10
2 Corinthians 4:18 MSG
We often enjoy the blessings of change, but not the process of change. We’re creatures of habit. We form our habits, and our habits form us. Then we start to see things just from our own perspective. And when that happens – we stagnate. The truth is, without change there is no growth. When we have the right attitude, every experience – positive and negative – becomes an opportunity for progress. Trees need more than sunshine to produce fruit. Rainy seasons are productive seasons too, and they always come before the harvest. We probably won’t like the rainy seasons in our lives, but we need to understand their purpose and benefits. The Bible says that every day ‘the Lord…makes us more and more like him…we are changed into his glorious image’ (2 Corinthians 3:18 NLT). But to become like Jesus we must follow wherever He leads. That means following Him through the wilderness of temptation, the pain of rejection, the surrendering of plans and those rainy seasons. It also means being prepared to avoid all forms of self-centred living. Following Jesus may mean being in a different location tomorrow than we are today. Once we understand this, we’ll stop fearing and resisting the changes taking place in our lives and start seeing God at work in them. Paul says: ‘So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace…The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever’ (2 Corinthians 4:16-18 MSG).
Neh 11-13; Luke 22:14-23; Ps 78:56-64; Prov 24:6-10